NATM is closely monitoring the spread of respiratory illness caused by a the coronavirus as first identified in Wuhan, China. Additional cases have been identified in a growing number of other international locations.
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Stricter measures to control coronavirus
News item | 23-03-2020 | 22:10
On Monday 23 March the government introduced additional measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, justice and security minister Ferd Grapperhaus, health minister Hugo de Jonge and medical care minister Martin van Rijn announced the measures at a press conference. The measures are based on the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
The new and stricter measures are as follows:
- Stay home as much as possible. Leave the house only to go to work if you cannot work at home, to buy groceries or to take care of others. You can go out to get some fresh air, but do not do so in groups. Always keep a good distance from other people (at least 1.5 metres) and avoid all social activities and groups of people. At home: limit the number of visitors to 3 and keep sufficient distance (1.5m) from each other.
- As before, if you have a cough or a cold: stay home. If someone in your household develops a fever, all the members of the household should stay home. This does not apply to key workers in crucial sectors and critical processes, unless they themselves get sick.
- All gatherings are prohibited until 1 June, even gatherings of less than 100 people. This is a tightening of the existing ban (that applied up to 6 April). An exception is made for funerals and religious weddings. More information about this will follow soon.
- Public transport and shops are required to take measures to ensure that people keep a good distance. For instance, by limiting the number of people allowed in the shop at the same time.
- Businesses in contact-based industries, such as hair salons and beauty parlours, must be closed until 6 April. Other professionals, such as physiotherapists, are urged to work via video calls wherever possible.
- Casinos are now subject to the same restrictions as establishments serving food and drink, and will be closed from 24 March 2020.
- Establishments such as holiday parks must put measures in place so that people keep a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. Failing this, local authorities may order these locations to close.
- Mayors may designate areas, like parks, beaches or neighbourhoods, where people are not allowed to collect together. The authorities will take action against groups of 3 or more people, who do not all maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from each other. This does not apply to children or to people in the same household, such as families.
- The ban on gatherings does not apply to public markets as these play a crucial role in bringing food to consumers in some parts of the country. Municipalities and market superintendents will examine ways that a good distance between members of the public can be maintained.
- The government also wants to be able to enforce existing measures more effectively. Mayors will have the option of enacting an emergency bye-law, to more easily and more quickly initiate enforcement activities. Mayors can also order specific locations to be closed, including parks, beaches and campsites. And people who violate the rules can be fined.
Previously published measures remain in force. For more information, read about the approach to tackling coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The measures are in keeping with the Netherlands’ approach, which is to make sure that the healthcare system is able to cope and has enough capacity to help the people who need it most. This approach and the measures are based on the advice of the Outbreak Management Team. This is a group of experts chaired by Jaap van Dissel, director of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
New information will be added here. The questions and answers on www.government.nl/coronavirus will also be updated.
Employee Travel Restrictions
We are aware that a number of our members are issuing guidance to staff which includes:
- A complete ban on travel to / from Wuhan
- A complete ban on travel to / from Italy
- A ban on inhouse meetings, internal and external meetings is ordered
- A ban/ Restricting / deferring non-essential travel to mainland China
- Restricting / deferring domestic travel within mainland China and/or pre-approval to travel
- A ban/ Restricting / deferring travel to and/or from Hong Kong and Macau
- A ban/ Restricting / deferring travel to and/or from Italy, Iran and South Korea
- Any travel to affected regions must be pre-approved by senior management, risk and / or security teams
- Monitoring of incoming visitors from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy and Taiwan
- Employees returning from infected area’s are being requested / mandated to work from home for 14 days and should return to work only if symptom-free after that duration
- Any employee who develops fever and flu-like symptoms within 14 days of travel should stay home and notify their healthcare provider
- Providing guidance and links to employees from medical and security assistance vendors
- Advising where extra screening measures and travel restrictions are in place at various locations across the world
Please check the Dutch Government website for specific country bans: https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/reizen/reisadviezen
Additional Protective Measures
To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
How to greet each other: